Book Of Sand Analysis

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In The Book of Sand, Jorge Luis Borges describes how a mysterious book with strange properties changes a person’s life. The contrast Borges creates between narrator’s books and the Book of Sand and the differences in the effect the works have on the narrator expresses the insignificance of human life in the vast, infinite expanse of space and time. While the narrator’s books provide him with an outlook on the relationship between humans, God, and their world, the Book of Sand destroys these ideas and renders them insignificant by forcing the narrator to acknowledge how inconsequential humanity is in the universe. When the narrator’s story begins, one of the first things we learn about him is that he collects Bibles and other great literary…show more content…
Unlike the Bible and other literature, the Book provides no literal information; it is impactful to its readers because of its properties and the statement they make about time and space. The narrator describes his disconcerting first experience with the Book of Sand, when he discovers that the pages are arbitrary and the same cannot be found twice: “I took note of the page, and then closed the book. Immediately I opened it again. In vain I searched for the figure of the anchor, page after page. To hide my discomfiture, I tried another tack.” Furthermore, the Book’s pages are infinite; no matter how hard the narrator tries, he cannot find its beginning or end. The Book of Sand is a representation of all of time and space and humanity’s place in the universe. The arbitrary nature of the Book’s pages represents the randomness of life and illustrates how little control humans have over their own lives, while the infinite pages in the book emphasize how, in the grand scheme of all existence, humanity is insignificant. For the narrator, the Book gives him a new perspective on his place in the universe that renders what he has learned through his Bibles and other literature meaningless. He states that the book was a “nightmare thing…and that it defiled and corrupted reality.” He becomes obsessed with the book, effectively forgetting about his own life. Eventually, he realizes that…show more content…
The fundamental differences between what he learns from these books help to develop an essential theme in The Book of Sand: human life is but an extremely small, trifling part of the infinite expanse of time and space. While the Bible and the other books teach the narrator about the meaning of life, the Book of Sand leaves him with the impression that in the grand scheme of things, his life and all of humanity is
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